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The History Of Video File Formats [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 26-04-2012

The History Of Video File Formats [INFOGRAPHIC] iphone laworder I was watching Law & Order : Special Victims Unit on my iPhone the other night, when it dawned on me how lucky I was to be able to do what I was doing. I was watching a TV programme in crisp high-definition video, as good as watching it on television (perhaps better), except I was watching it on a small mobile phone screen, small enough to fit in my pocket.


Video has come a long way.  With the lightning speed progress of the Internet and the vast numbers of users switching to broadband or higher, and the introduction of devices such as the iPhone, video has improved by leaps and bounds. This infographic by gives us a brief rundown of video’s progress over the past 56 years, going all the way back to 1956, with something called the Ampex Quadruplex. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue as easily as AVI and MP4 does it? Speaking of which, AVI could also be slowly making its way to the exit too with it being mostly replaced on file sharing networks by its newer sibling MP4.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the infographic.  What is your favourite digital video format and why?  How do you feel about AVI being nudged out of the way in favour of MP4?

Click on the infographic below for a larger version

[Broken Link Removed]

Infographic Source: Real


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  1. Joe
    April 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the timeline, it was a good read. I have always been fond of MKV files since the first time I was introduced to them sometime around 2004-5. Not many people used that format even at that point but if you were a big fan of anime then you would understand why it was such a great format. It allowed you to add subtitles but also remove them if needed all within the file instead of either embedding them into an AVI file or having a seperate .srt subtitles file. I remember how nobody could get these files working at all back then, they were really difficult at that time to get the proper video codecs to work with .mkv files properly since they conflicted with previous codecs if you had them installed. These days though if its not .MKV I probably wont want watch it.

    • aussie
      April 30, 2012 at 12:27 am

      ironic that it was provided by real player.....

      • Mark O'Neill
        April 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

        As I said to the guy who provided the infographic to me, the irony was not lost on me either. I've had so many nightmare memories of a bloated Realplayer that I refuse to use it now, no matter how much better they claim to be.